The U.S. Department of Education has created the Green Ribbon Schools program, to recognize schools that have taken great strides in greening their curricula, buildings, school grounds and overall building operations. The Green Ribbon School awards will be given to schools that best exemplify America’s transition to a sustainable economy, from graduating “environmentally literate” students to effectively managing their carbon footprint.

The Green Ribbon program was conceived and coordinated by the Campaign for Environmental Literacy (CEL), Earth Day Network, the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

“No other building type speaks more profoundly to the benefits of green building than the places where our children learn. Green schools reduce energy consumption, save money and foster healthier learning environments for our children,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president, ceo and founding chair. “The Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program is a landmark in progress toward green schools for everyone within this generation, which is the vision for USGBC’s Center for Green Schools.”